Your Secret Weapon for Precise Direct Mail Targeting

As a direct mail marketer, you’re always looking for ways to refine your targeting and maximize the impact of your campaigns. One often-overlooked strategy that can significantly improve your ability to read results is using holdout panels.

hold out panel

What is a Holdout Panel?

A holdout panel, also known as a control group, is a subset of your target audience that is intentionally excluded from receiving a specific direct mail campaign. This group acts as a baseline for comparison, allowing you to accurately measure the incremental impact of your mailing.

How Do Holdout Panels Work?

The Benefits of Holdout Panels

Holdout panels eliminate the guesswork around campaign effectiveness. They provide a clear picture of how much lift in response and sales can be directly attributed to your direct mail efforts.
The insights gained from holdout panels allow you to fine-tune future campaigns. You can identify what worked and what didn’t, adjust your targeting, messaging, or offer, and ultimately improve your ROI.
Holdout panels provide concrete evidence of the value of direct mail. This data can be invaluable when justifying marketing budgets and securing buy-in from stakeholders.

Real-World Application: Custom Audience Creation

Holdout panels are especially useful when creating custom audiences for direct mail campaigns. By analyzing the characteristics and behaviors of individuals in the holdout group who convert despite not receiving the mailing, you can uncover hidden segments with high potential. This information can then be used to refine your targeting parameters for future campaigns, leading to even better results.


Holdout panels may seem counterintuitive at first – why wouldn’t you want to mail to everyone in your target audience? However, by sacrificing a small portion of your potential reach, you gain invaluable insights that can significantly improve the effectiveness of your overall direct mail strategy.
If you’re ready to take your direct mail campaigns to the next level, start incorporating holdout panels into your testing methodology. The results may surprise you!

Let's get started. Together.

Learn how our clients achieve game-changing results.

Achieve breakthrough results to thrill your clients.